Health System leaders meet with Senator Romero on strike
State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) met Wednesday with leadership of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to express her concern and support for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which have been on strike against University of California facilities since Monday. At UCLA, the union represents approximately 5,425 employees, including 3,200 patient-care technical employees, most at Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and 2,225 service employees, most on the main campus.
While the five-day strike is in its third day, UCLA Health officials stated that the majority of its employees have continued to report to work to carry out their patient care responsibilities, resulting in safe clinical care for all patients. Most of the patient-care technical workers have shown up for work as scheduled. The two emergency departments at Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital are continuing to function without interruption. The paramount concern for UCLAs hospitals is the health and well-being of its patients. Measures have been taken to appropriately staff both hospitals.
We continue to assess the situation as it unfolds and are committed to maintaining essential services and minimizing any disruptions, said Dr. Tom Rosenthal, chief medical officer of the UCLA Hospital System.
On July 11, a San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against AFSCME, prohibiting the union from proceeding with a strike scheduled for July 14-18 at University of California facilities throughout the state. The court order is available at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/PERBtemproAFSCME.pdf.
On July 9, the Public Employment Relations Board, the state agency responsible for overseeing collective bargaining for public sector employers, had issued a complaint against AFSCME for encouraging employees to participate in a strike against UC facilities even though their absence from work would clearly endanger the publics safety because of potential impacts at the medical centers. (www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18195).
We are disappointed that union leadership would continue to encourage their members to strike, despite a court order declaring such a strike a threat to public safety, said Dr. David Feinberg, chief executive officer of UCLA Medical Center. Regardless, we believe that our employees are dedicated workers who care about the patients entrusted to their care and care about upholding the law and we expect that they will report to work as scheduled.